Toy Shop

Cover image for


Author: Harry Harrison (Henry Maxwell Dempsey)
Published: 1962
Language: English
Wordcount: 2,989 / 16 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 57.8
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 4,208
Added to site: 2007.10.13 18496

The gadget was strictly, beyond any question, a toy. Not a real, workable device. Except for the way it could work under a man's mental skin....

Show Excerpt

and most of the parents--gaped in wide-eyed wonder. Biff Hawton was too sophisticated to be awed. He stayed on because he wanted to find out what the trick was that made the gadget work.

"It's all explained right here in your instruction book," the demonstrator said, holding up a garishly printed booklet opened to a four-color diagram. "You all know how magnets pick up things and I bet you even know that the earth itself is one great big magnet--that's why compasses always point north. Well ... the Atomic Wonder Space Wave Tapper hangs onto those space waves. Invisibly all about us, and even going right through us, are the magnetic waves of the earth. The Atomic Wonder rides these waves just the way a ship rides the waves in the ocean. Now watch...."

Every eye was on him as he put the gaudy model rocketship on top of the table and stepped back. It was made of stamped metal and seemed as incapable of flying as a can of ham--which it very much resembled. Neither wings, propellors, nor jets broke through the painted surface. It rested on three rubber wheels and coming out through the bottom was a double strand of thin insulated wire. This white wire ran across the top of the black table and terminate


Average Rating of 3 from 3 reviews: ***
Sardo Weems

It's a story of two con jobs. The first con was the obvious one, the second con was in interesting scientists to do the research the con men couldn't.

Just an okay story.


I've actually read the story in the original Analog magazine. (I picked up a bunch of old Sci-Fi magazines from a yard sale). This text appears to be complete to the best of my recollection.

Fun little cynical story

Najib Dajani

I am not sure I get this story. It seemed like I was just settling in to read it after the scene was set when it just ended. I am thinking that only the very first 5 or 6 pages were transcribed.

Can anyone please shed any light on this?

Thank you and all the best,


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